Life Becomes Art

Seeking Authentic Connections

I'm planning a trip to Japan this fall, and over the years of travel planning, I've noticed what truly draws me in–the everyday life of the locals. Restaurants and bars are my magnets, places that show the real vibe of where people live. Sure, I enjoy the typical attractions, but I don't want to just hang out with other tourists. Because you get people like this:

That still irks me.

What I love most is starting conversations–a person, a couple, a whole roomful of like-minded people (ie: people who aren't afraid to talk to new people). That's the good stuff. Making connections with strangers who become friends, even if just for a night.

Capturing Transient Spaces

The subject matter for my art is in transition. I've been moving away from nature, and into places where humans create a space for connection, good times and memories. There's a transient quality to these places. For many, I'll see them maybe once in my life. Beyond that, who knows when their moment is over and they become history in someone's mind.

I know that painfully as my local bar recently closed down due to fire (among other things). There's a mourning when a place this special to you closes. We get attached to places.

During the pandemic–so many of the places I'd go to closed. A gut punch for every one. (Not to mention the people whose livelihoods were attached to the place.) If you ever watched the Hunger Games series, in my head I'd hear the sound of a canon for each business. That sucked.

Wherever I go, I take photos of the restaurants and bars that are something special. Places that hold a vibe, a feeling, and a heartbeat original to anything else. I'm painting them to keep them alive.

In a way, my art becomes an extension of my life's journey.

Travel Tip:  

For trip planning, I use Google Maps to flag every potential spot I want to visit with a green marker. Then when we're traveling, I can refer to that map for nearby green flags. Once visited, those markers turn into blue pins–digital souvenirs allowing me to revisit every memorable place long after the trip ends.

Here's an example from my trip to Valetta and the artworks that were inspired by some of the places I visited:
My Google Maps of Valletta showing the green flags that I wanted to see and the blue pins that I ended up seeing, plus the art that came out of the trip

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